Saturday, October 27, 2007

Revisiting The Past Creating the Future

Based on the rationale that this is the third and new incarnation for this weblog, I have been going back over past posts making corrections. My online persona is not as limited by separation from the past as is my day job/real life. It is somewhat like making changes in our lives today to correct for consequences of decisions made in the past. Some good and bad was lost from the second incarnation. Some of that dealt with Burma. and my reactions to campaigns through the Internet. In this third incarnation I discovered another blog Serendiptiyoucity, which seems to be by a geographer and cybercartographer, that did a very impressive post on the Burma satellite pictures. It demonstrates that knowledge and meaning can come in many forms.

This story is from the Los Angeles Times Myanmar junta holds talks with Suu Kyi "It is the government's first official meeting with the detained opposition leader in more than 18 years." By Paul Watson, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer October 26, 2007. It raises the question, was there in fact an impact from the reaction of the world's people to this tragedy? Even though one may feel like a drop of water in the ocean, were we all part of a wave in bringing about a possible change?

World changing paradigm shifts come from all directions

World changing paradigm shifts come from all directions. Any effort to change the world or change the market will bring unintended consequences both good and bad. According to Nokia researcher Jan Chipchase out of the 6.3 billion humans on the planet about 3 billion now have access to cellphones and an additional billion will have in the next 2 years. He doesn't try to predict what the future will be, instead he looks at how people will react to it by investigating the ways we interact with technology. The Grameenphone Company has been a past focus of this weblog's inquiries. Jan Chipchase working in countries like India, Brazil, China and the villages of Uganda has made unexpected discoveries about the ways illiterate people use their mobile phones, the new roles the mobile can play in global commerce.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Third Incarnation

This is the third incarnation for this weblog. A good deal of the last incarnation remains but the name has been changed as has the form. What is now missing for any chance visitor is the apparent rationale or objective of this weblog. The new name provides a better indicator of the intent of this weblog. That is finding for myself paths to new paradigms and making those paths available to others so that they can find their own new paradigms. This is the impermanent portion of this endeavor. There is at this point no great effort in getting this blog in front of a larger audience as its primary goal is to create a vehicle for acquiring knowledge in three basic areas economics and economic development, science and technology, and web 2.0. Being able to pass on that information is a worthwhile though secondary objective. There is still a hopeful dependency upon serendipity in the creation of this weblog.

This has been said before, though now lost and likely never seen, it is going over the same path again. That may be necessary though to learn as T. S. Eliot wrote

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

There is still the desire to re-create the somewhat more permanent structure, found now on the left hand column, containing information of value through connections to high quality websites concerned with social change and economic development, innovation through the application of design via science and technology, and better understanding of the paradigms under which we live and how to change our own so as to make better changes in the world. The question now is how to do that under this new form once this impermanent post fades away.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Lost My Online Self

This morning I discovered that my online identity was no more, gone, nowhere. I had been half way situated between my day job/real life identity and my new online identity and things were getting confusing. So I decided to redo that whole kit & ka-boodle. Now I am fully under BrianDRPM in all aspects. Bad news I lost or let go of about 15 posts or so but no big deal. Good news my posts are now showing the title. Everthing else seems to be working OK but I will be going through to re-set some of the links, re-build some of the connections and put the tags back on.

More from Pop!Tech

This looks far more interesting and uplifting than some of the other things I have been dealing with lately - POP!TECH. Fast Company has had a number of articles on the conference.

Live from Pop!Tech: My Kind of Dinner Party
Live from Pop!Tech: Thursday's closing thought
Live from Pop!Tech: The Art of Giving Consumerism Stats Emotional Punch
Live from Pop!Tech: Friday's Closing Thought
Live from Pop!Tech: Losing Books from the Library of Life
Live from Pop!Tech: Questioning Our Slow Instincts and Speed Limits
Live from Pop!Tech: Today's Social Capitalist Assignment

In the meantime TED is blogging on the PopMech Awards

This Software builds its Own Hardware

Science is major area of interest of this weblog, though not enough has been written to justify that statement. A Pop!Tech talk featuring J. Craig Venter who lectures about the synthetic designing of DNA. Of particular interest is the design concept that duality between software and hardware does not exist with nature.

In an earlier post Saul Griffith takes a similar approach from a technological perspective.

Emotionally, the best may be yet to come - Los Angeles Times

According to the Los Angeles Times - Emotionally, the best may be yet to come - :

"The paradox of aging is that there is this decline in physical well-being and cognitive status and yet an increase in psychological well-being," Carstensen says. "We [colleagues in her laboratory] don't think of that as a paradox, of course, because it's the decline that reminds people that life will not go on forever."

With an eye on the clock, older people are more selective about their activities and relationships, Wood says. The happiest find ways to feel useful, giving them a sense of purpose and making their time feel meaningful. The happiest tend to say they enjoy serving others in some capacity.

"I think of old age as the richest form of emotional satisfaction that is possible," Carstensen says. "There are still positive emotions, but there is also an understanding and appreciation that there is an ending around the corner."

An appreciation of remaining time leads older people to be more grateful for what they have, Carstensen and other researchers say. And being thankful is great for mental health. Studies by Robert A. Emmons, a psychology professor at UC Davis, show that people who focus on what they are grateful for have better emotional well-being, especially a positive mood, compared with people who focus on the negative or neutral information.

"When you focus on gratefulness, you see that other people are providing you with support and value you," says Emmons, author of the book "Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier." "You see that good stuff doesn't just happen randomly. It helps you make sense out of life. Grateful people see their lives as gifts."

Being able to forgive is the flip side, he adds. "It helps reduce negative emotions like anger and resentment."

The previous post on Baby Boomers and Millennial Entrepreneurs also seemed to indicate that this is what is needed from leadership in the future. Working in as a change agent in a non-profit or social entrepreneurship organization would seem to benefit myself as well as others.

More information, news and research on happiness and aging can be found at these sites:

Creativity Original and So-So

This post has been re-visited and linked back to from posts in the future. One habit, which is apparent here, was addressing issues of content and medium in the same post.

One of the problems with sharing through a Google Reader is that it has to be a rss or atom feed. I found what I thought was a great post from an interesting blog GapingVoid by Hugh MacLeod on how to be creative. It's from way back in 2004, which goes to my thought about the often impermanent nature of the web. The usual tendency is to seek only the latest data currently provided on the web thereby missing on a possible wealth of wisdom and knowledge. Of course, the more one goes into the dusty archives the more one has to work to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Innovation, Insights , Integrity has a later post on how to be so-so creative which leads to the one above. The author's attitude towards creativity has changed though. Don't know why the change but things change for all of us. To help avoid being overly dourly philosophical about such things, the GapingVoid blog offers the following created by some fans.

MIT Low Technologies, High Aims

This article from the New York Times SCIENCE from September 11, 2007 talks about the direction MIT is taking to create beneficial paradigm changes.

Low Technologies, High Aims
M.I.T. has nurtured dozens of Nobel Prize winners in cerebral realms, but lately it has turned its attention toward concrete thinking to improve the lives of the poor

Go to Updated Post

Buddhist Thought for Fri, 19 Oct 2007

Buddhist Thought of the Day on 10/19/07

When you give a shilling to a beggar - do you realize that you are giving it to yourself? When you help a lame dog over a stile - do you realize that you yourself are being helped? When you kick a man when he is down - do you realize that you are kicking yourself? Give him another kick - if you deserve it! -

Why Lazurus Laughed by Wei Wu Wei...


Compassion is Compassion Neither Conservative Nor Liberal

The Entrepreneurial Mind had an inspiring post on Giving in the Entrepreneurial Culture. He cites Dr. Arthur Brooks of Syracuse University and author of Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism.

He (Dr. Brooks) summarized his findings by dispelling the four common myths about giving:

Myth #1: Giving makes us poorer
Giving is not the zero sum that so many assume. Those who give become richer over time.

Myth #2: People are naturally selfish
As mentioned above, we seem to be hard-wired to give. It is not natural for humans to be selfish. Rather, it is natural to give to others.

Myth #3: Giving is a luxury
The working poor give the highest percentage of their income of all income brackets. Second come the rich. The stingiest are the upper middle class.

Myth #4: An entrepreneurial nation can afford to forgo service
In fact service is part of what seems to have built our entrepreneurial culture and economy.

Changing the World Changing Yourself

"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself."
--Leo Tolstoy,

Russian novelist and philosopher

Do the Mash (Even if You Don't Know All the Steps)

Despite what Business Pundit might advise this New York Times TECHNOLOGY / CIRCUITS from September 2, 2007 advises us to jump in.

Novelties: Do the Mash (Even if You Don't Know All the Steps) by ANNE EISENBERG
Several companies are creating online systems to let ordinary people create useful computer applications by combining different information sources.

Breaking Further into Blogging

Lately, I have been delving more into the blogging scene and learning about some of the other programs and tricks of the trade out there. There is still the question as to what precisely this particular webblog is supposed to be. It is not a blog in the usual sense. Its true intention is for a limited audience who won't be around for another year or so. First by someone, who by the beneficence of serendipity, finds here a gateway to something they judge as being useful in their lives. Second, myself who will have hopefully created a base of knowledge that can be used to insure that some sense of meaning and ability to create some benefit in the world remains in his life. So learning is the main focus. Still current life craves some creative output and this endeavor can serve a double purpose.

A post in Small Business Trends made me feel better about my own efforts. Anita Campbell started her blog in 2003 and didn't make her first 100 RSS subscribers until about a year later in 2004. Now she is at 86,000 plus. The point is that she was trying hard to get readers. More important she had created something that was of value to other people. She also tells how she moved from being a novice to a professional blogger. See Question: How long have you been writing this site. There is value here, but I am merely repackaging source value and perhaps making some interesting combinations like a fusion restaurant. I am still learning how to cook.

Encouraging Innovation

From the Christian Science Monitor

How companies can encourage innovation
Many workers admit they are not living up to their creative potential. Workplace experts say there are ways to narrow this 'creativity gap.'

Buddhist Thought for Thu, 18 Oct 2007

Buddhist Thought of the Day on 10/18/07

"Only the curious will learn, only the resolute overcome the obstacles to learning. The Quest quotient has always excited me more than the intelligence quotient." - Eugene S. Wilson..

Blog Action Day Wrap Up

The following e-mail from the folks at Blog Action day provides some pretty good arguments and numbers against my skeptically slanted post. There was far more to the creation and far more to the impact than I appreciated. This does not mean I am backtracking on all the comments made about web 2.0 and its utility in sponsoring social change. Still working that through.

The Wrap Up

The very first Blog Action Day was an unprecedented success and
we've got the final wrap up where the site used to be at complete with statistics, sample posts,
details of the huge amount of press coverage we had all over
the world, quotes and more.

It's a must see. Please feel free to spread the word around as
it's great for people to really see what we achieved together.


And if I could just say a huge thank you to every single one of
you, all 20,603 registered bloggers who took the plunge even if
it meant going off their regularly scheduled programming and
stood up to be counted.

Also thank you to everyone who helped out with the effort, in
particular Leo Babauta whose contacts, writing and enthusiasm
pushed the enterprise forward, my wife - Cyan Ta'eed who braved
the media and fronted up to interviews around the globe, John
Brougher who put together the superb video, Ryan Allen who
performed the elite coding to keep the site up despite barrages
of traffic and most importantly my Dad - Fuad Ta'eed who valiantly
looked through thousands of blogs to give the tick of approval,
every single day for two months.

So until next year when we get back together for
Blog Action Day 2008,

This is Collis signing off,
on behalf of the Blog Action Day team

Global Warming

Today is the 15th of October. So it is blog action day for the environment. This is similar to the same type of action taken for Burma. My contribution is a repository for articles on Global Warming from two sides of the debate that I have sympathy for but which are in apparent disagreement but in my hopefully not to optimistic view can be brought together. To be honest I can't say that I am fully buying into this. Besides some doubts as to the best way to address these problems this raises questions as to how far some one is willing to personally go. I have registered this site again with the realization that it will have limited effect. Can't help wondering if this isn't anything more than the web version of the bumper sticker. When I see a SUV with two "support our troops" ribbon stickers I have thought to my self, "Does that make them twice as patriotic as cars with one". Now I am participating in another "major action". To be truthful it might be more helpful to turn my computer off for the day.

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

It anybody doesn't know that Al Gore was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize because of his work in informing the world on the issue of global warming it is not because of TED. A number of TED blog articles can be found here. There is still the question of his house but recognizing the good work he has done and not having a solar powered house and hybrid car myself, I won't be the one throwing stones.

Differences that make a difference

My online persona interacts occasionally with various forums. One benefit of this weblog is that it makes it possible to share knowledgeable and expert insights of one realm with another. Even though the realms are often connected far closer than the standard six degrees of separation, the ability to make our own connections creates new paradigms that can be built upon. It is still a learning process but we can take the same beginning, the same path and the same destination again and still discover new perspectives for oneself and others. This post was a nexus between TED and MIT.

The issues raised by the Fast Company article about Grameenphone needs further thought. I have hopeful confidence in the ability of Iqbal Quadir, Grameen and the MIT Program in Developmental Entrepreneurship to address them. Even though we are speaking of an impact with broad reach, the basic economics can provide lessons to those of us working at a more local level. For anybody interested here is the link to an MIT Sloan panel discussion MIT World » : Global Entrepreneurship: Inefficiency as Opportunity ...conducted prior to Iqbal Quadir's TED talk. There is also one sponsored by Technology Review in which he discusses his views on innovation MIT World » : Emerging Technologies: The Innovators' View . Although the challenges with the current credit crunch seem daunting, these videos give one a perspective on how leaders like Iqbal Quadir deal with them.

Robert Frank - The more natural economist

Justin Wolfers on October 3, 2007 had a post in Marginal Revolution in which he introduces Professor Robert Frank and his new book the Economic Naturalist. There are a couple of lessons that I can readily take away from the reviews and interviews. First is Professor Frank's advice to his students that their answers to the questions should be viewed as intelligent hypotheses suitable for further refinement and testing. They are not meant to be the final word. Second is that a good way to learn about a new idea is to write about it. As Professor Frank sees it, "As someone who's written a lot, I can attest to the validity of that. I've never learned as efficiently about something as when I'm trying to write about it." This weblog is based partially on that belief. There are a number of other connection which I look forward to exploring. Some are provided in the link to the Economic Naturalist.

Not being a formal student of economics, it is difficult to determine if Professor Frank's approach puts him in the heterodox category or not. I do see this approach as being more useful to my own concepts of intentional beneficial paradigm shift. The ability to think logically about the effects of actions could have on the future, at least on the local level. My attempts to understand the Grameen Phone issue raised by Fast Company is one example.

Design Delights

Fast Company does have an interesting look at the design visions of Bob Greenberg which is now under Paradigm Pathways Business & Economic Development
But since the proof is in the pudding or the pictures, those are here.

Other interesting links to concepts of design, also from Fast Company, are the Cooper Hewitt Natural Design Museum and their National Peoples Design Award program .

Philanthropy via Web 2.0

Here is another concept found on the web. This one only applies to the general Washington area but it shows what can be done.

The Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington
introduces you to the world of smaller, local charities – with budgets below $2 million. Though they comprise about 85% of all nonprofits, the public rarely hears about them because most cannot afford to make themselves heard. Yet dollar-for-dollar, they offer some of the most cost-effective opportunities for philanthropy. If "making a difference" is one of your goals, then excellent smaller charities may be for you.

Saving the World Next Door

This weblog continues to evolve. The last few posts have dealt with social entrepreneurship and philanthropy. These have now been made part of the permanent structure of this weblog under Pearls of Paradigm Processing Shifting to a Better World.


On one of my recent Internet explorations I found another site which provides a number of resources that fit into my concept of 21st century education. NITLE is a not-for-profit initiative dedicated to promoting liberal education. They provide opportunities for teachers (and hopefully others) in liberal arts contexts to create transformative learning experiences for and with their students by deploying emerging technologies in innovative, effective, and sustainable ways. Their mission is to catalyze innovative teaching to enrich and advance liberal education in the digital age. This is going under Pearls of Paradigm Processing Paradigm Shifts through Innovation.

MicroFinance Program Kiva

Adam Smith blog writes about a new program that allows people to make direct micro-finance loans. The program is called Kiva. From their website:
Kiva lets you connect with and loan money to unique small businesses in the developing world. By choosing a business on, you can "sponsor a business" and help the world's working poor make great strides towards economic independence. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates from the business you've sponsored. As loans are repaid, you get your loan money back.

Why participate in such a project? Tom Clougherty at Adam Smith explains it this way:

The great thing about micro-finance is that it is based on the philosophy of the hand-up rather than the handout. As I wrote for the GI: "Micro-finance is not a top-down solution to poverty, it is a bottom-up approach that aims to empower the poor, harnessing their individual aspirations and abilities and creating an environment in which they can realize the true benefits of the market economy." That's why micro-finance has been so successful where traditional aid has failed to make an impact.

Is the Law of Unintended Consequences the Strongest Law Around.

From the Freakonomics Blog another foray into economic principles of causes, conditions and consequences.

FREAKONOMICS | October 2, 2007
Video: Is the Law of Unintended Consequences the Strongest Law Around?
The Americans with Disabilities Act was considered landmark legislation. Here's a summary of the law from the Department of Justice Web site: The Americans with Disabilities Act gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. It guarantees equal [...]

A Question of Greed and the Human Condition

My last post involved a exchange with an anthropologist. There have been a number of other posts on the Internet involving behavior and social interaction. One was pointed to by Marginal Revolution blogger Alex Tabarrok, Chimps More "Rational" than Humans . The original United International Press article is here.

My contribution to the Marginal discussion was a recent link from Scientific American Mind, Is Greed Good?

Economists are finding that social concerns often trump selfishness in financial decision making, a view that helps to explain why tens of millions of people send money to strangers they find on the Internet By Christoph Uhlhaas.

Contributions from others in the same Marginal post included Patience, Fairness and the Human Condition from the Economist.

Other articles passing by my computer screen also brought up a variety of ideas. The Business Pundit pointed to an article on Contagious Negativity and Social Media from the Journal of Consumer Research concluding that negativity is contagious. A recent Washington Post article says that the persistence of social myths such as Iraq was behind the 9/11 bombing could affect the implementation of public policy. All this would seem to put a dent in the notion of Homo economicus and indicate that we are in truth far more complicated.

However, there are other articles that would seem to indicate that there are forces in play beyond the solitary individual that creates new rules for the group, crowd or society as a whole. One example is from Cosmic Variance: Birds of a Feather which was found (8/11/09) to be recently updated with a video.

Buddhist Thought for Fri, 12 Oct 2007

Something for me to keep in mind.

Buddhist Thought of the Day

"Wise men don't judge: they seek to understand". - Fingers Pointing Toward the Moon"

A Question of Nets Malaria and Social Aid 2

My latest post on the malaria net issue on Marginal Revolution received a response from Greg Laden who has an interesting scientifically based blog Evolution not just a theory any more. Gregg is, according to his blog, an independent scholar affiliated with the University of Minnesota (Graduate faculty of Quaternary Paleoecology, Anthropology, and some other departments, occasional instructor, and administrator). He has the credentials and is doing something that this weblog sees as very worthwhile - utilizing other disciplines such as anthropology to get new perspectives by disciplines such as economics on current world challenges. However, that works both ways, anthropology could use some new perspectives from economics. While he does provide food for thought, I do have disagreements or at least alternative viewpoints from his line of thinking. My response follows.


First off thanks for the response. Also checked out your blog and was impressed. You would seem to be working at a technical level a number of levels deeper than my college anthropology class. My own view is that is is very beneficial for us to have those with technical knowledge in other fields to provide input to the discussion in other realms. Second you may be being too cynical but perhaps not that skeptical. A few points for consideration - my own included with the caveat that I might be being too optimistic. I would agree with your assessment if we limit the scope of the analysis to one large governmental bureaucratic institution interacting with another. As you point out, one criticism often laid upon these efforts is that this aid helps corrupt governments and little gets to the people who need it. Here is another source of information which addresses both your point that the foreign aid a country receives lands in the pockets of corrupt officials. and the position I wish to put forward . (I can't seem to make links in these posts perhaps because I am using a freebie blogger) This is where I am perhaps being too optimistic but arguably this does not apply to organizations like Acumen Fund which emphasizes sustainable bottom-up solutions over traditional top-down aid. If the nets are actually made in Africa there is less need to my mind for "parental" oversight by outside agencies. I fully agree with you that one of the great fallacies of the "market" distribution method is the assumption that a good will not generate a price unless a government official or economist puts a price on it. There is, however, still an allocation of resources in terms of cost and a value. I am not arguing that the recipients should pay either the cost or any profit value but a system of sustainable distribution should recognize these factors. This approach does more than take a band-aid (albeit a really big and important band-aid) approach helping the sick and poor become just poor. I do have to admit though that this approach does arguably have its limitations in being able to achieve "market penetration" to the degree required because the enterprise can only grow or produce so fast which may not be fast enough for the health need.. Assuming the mind set of a "change agent" with the best of intentions, one needs to manufacture the nets, if not in the country of need then transport the nets, and distribute the nets. I can use a lump sum charity donation in the form of foreign aid but then you have the issue of the bureaucracy tied to the money. Golden Rule - He who has the gold makes the rules. Even if I use your distribution system of showing up in Kinshasa with a barge full of mosquito nets, left unguarded for a month, one still has to consider the first two steps. You don't really get to do "regardless of how they get there". Furthermore, I have to wonder if there wouldn't be the equivalent of the mosquito net scalper arising out of all of this. There is no perfect system and much (most) of what goes on could be a hell of a lot better but hopefully things can get better through new technology and new thinking. Brian

A Question of Nets Malaria and Social Aid

Marginal Revolution had a post regarding the economics of malaria net distribution which is based upon a New York Times article Distribution of Nets Splits Malaria Fighters. The article is not as "full" a review as is claimed in the post as it does a meager job in looking at the other side and it is hard to evaluate the unilateral positions taken. One of the claims made is that

"There has been a paradigm shift," Dr. Olumese said. "We need to use the momentum we have right now." But is that actually the case or is it business as usual with the same old paradigms.

The immediacy of the issue would argue for direct action without complications of entrepreneurial marketing and distribution but is it that simple or is there a place for the social marketing approach and the goal of empowerment? Providing another perspective is Jacqueline Novogratz who has implemented on the ground solutions. The first video is from 2005, the second is from 2007. The first video is misnamed, it goes beyond Africa. The issue of nets is covered more fully under confluence of health and enterprise in the second video.
TED Talks Jacqueline Novogratz: Investing in Africa's own solutions
TED Talks
Jacqueline Novogratz: Tackling poverty with "patient capital"

Helping My Understanding

All of this work with the weblog, helps to inform my understanding and evolving relationship with the world, even those parts with which I disagree. The truth is that there is a great deal to learn from sources with which we might disagree or see as being outside of our realm. There is also greater opportunity for serendipity. My readings on Kuhn's original conceptualization of the term paradigm shift and those of his critics took me to new philosophical vistas of which further exploration is warranted. These are in Paradigm Shifts from Other Perspectives. The links here provide additional information on some of the authors of the articles.

The Gregory W. Quine article was by Paul A. Gregory, Ph.D.
The synopsis of the Thomas Kuhn ideas was by Frank Pajares
Frank Pajares site has a number of interesting links.

One of the Web 2.0 concepts I am wrestling with is creating a tagging system so that different parts can lead to other parts so those pathways are not determined, but they can also find there way back to the source. If one was to create an overall concept of a Paradigm Shift mind-map, it would include multiple tags dealing with many concepts such as innovation, creativity and leadership. It would differentiate between the terms. Each would be able to lead to the other without being overwhelmed with a the noise of too many irrelevant choices while also allowing the expansion of the exploration when desired. Explorers could then define their own pathways and create their own repositories of information to use in their own self-created personal paradigm shifts.

Contrasting Left, Right and All in Between

My online persona goes 'bravely" where my day job/real world self would not venture. The Online world seems to have no issue with pointing out the error of ones ways which provides a fairly quick and efficient way to learn or at the very least allows one to externally formulate one's thoughts. Marginal Revolution had a post titled Why the Left should learn to love liberalism. Liberalism similar to paradigm is a word whose definition seems dependent upon who is using it. My philosophical horizons continue to expand with new views. In addition to the ones put forth in the article, a recent Freakonomics post lead me to Liz Seymour - It Started with A Question. I may not agree with her answer but the sentiment of inquiry is a motivating factor behind this endeavor.

My comments on the Marginal Revolution article are below. Again it is an exercise in trying to better understand economics and incorporate that understanding into my belief system.

The discussion seems painted with very broad brush strokes from any particular side each with claimed benefits that I strongly suspect would last about a week and we would be right back at the debate. The range of thought within the discussion though is rather impressive. The concept of Free Market Anti-Capitalism is a new one to my fledgling economic education. Though I have to agree with the observation about Professor Cowen's overstatement. Obviously there are more than just two sides to this debate.

The most recent post packages the issues neatly for consideration. It is easy to agree that "actions have consequences and that only fools and crazy people build economic systems that ignore them.", but that advice applies to both sides of the ideological fence. It is also easy to agree that wealth redistribution is always more creative and prosperous than wealth concentration, because concentration promotes complacency and laziness, while distribution creates opportunity. Historical, from my perspective and here all sides can argue, an extremism of either right or left has resulted in a concentration of wealth or at the very least done a lousy job of redistribution in a sustainable fashion. Most appealing is arguing from empirical experience, because reality isn't interested in who's a liberal and who isn't, but only in consequences and experiences. This still leaves plenty of opportunity for philosophical pondering about moral sentiments and wealth creation. I still lean towards what has been described as classical liberalism but my recent self-questioning raises self-doubts about my premises.

One question that has been on my mind. China is often brought up in these discussions and there are many issues that justify concern and opposition to China's current polices - Darfur and Burma readily come to mind in addition to those cited. Despite that the question still arises as to the best means of having China take a primary role in the world economy. In particular comparing it to the path that Russia has taken and the effects its policies have had on its people and where its stands today in the world. Would anybody want a Chinese "Putin"?

Sharing the Wealth of Giving

Google contributes a great deal to the efforts undertaken by this weblog. Obviously the blog is Google based as is the to Innovation, Insight, Integrity Reader and the Paradigm Pathway Notebooks. provides a good deal of infrastructure to this site and its searches are powered by Google.

More importantly all this is free (yes they do have language stating that they can use my documents in Google Documents but there is either nothing that anybody would want or nothing that I would not willing provide).

This is still an individual effort but the potential for non-profits, for non-governmental agencies (a term which is both unimaginative and limiting) and for other change agents is tremendous. In a supposedly Web 2.0 world moving to Web 3.0 and even 4.0 this seems old hat. Yet I am convinced that there are numerous organizations out there that are still using e-mail like letters or at best telephones and use websites as nothing more than interactive posters.

There are a tremendous amount to be learned from organizations such as TED and MIT ,but I have to wonder to what extent this have been integrated throughout the hundreds of social change organizations that have been arising in the last decade.

The latest from Google offers yet another tool for invoking beneficial Paradigm Shifts.

YouTube and Checkout for the non-profit world

Surrounded by Geniuses But Still Finding Your Own Path

Seth Godin is now recommending this book Surrounded by Geniuses.

In a world that constantly rewards new and better ideas, we must all find ways to consistently deliver greater value to the customers and stakeholders we choose to serve. And we can only do this by unlocking the everyday genius in ourselves, our co-workers and partners and the places we call home for the majority of our waking hours. It sounds like a very tall order. But it's hardly impossible. In fact, our work with leading organizations in many industries over the past 20 years has shown that all of us have the ability-under the right circumstances-to make a real difference in small and large ways.

The book takes the "wisdom of the crowd" concept and pulls it back to your own particular crowd and how to nurture that.

The book was also previously recommended by Business Pundit in a review from September which can be found in Innovation, Insights, Integrity.

The idea behind Insights to Innovation is based on the often used concept within this weblog of serendipity, offering a place of discovery for anybody interested to browse through. There are actually less than 100 items. The crowd that goes through it will each find hopefully something of interest but each find will be, again hopefully, something unique. How do those components come back together into a new whole?

The fact that many users want only what they are specifically looking without regard for the message or branding of the creator raises the component concept considered by Seth Godin or as he put it, "The world just got unbundled".

"Not only are there literally a million ways to discover you and your offerings, but rarely people hear your story the way you want it to be heard. The idea of a home page and a site map and a considered, well-lit entryway to your brand is quaint but unrealistic."

That's why supposedly there are tags. Components can be identified separately and put back together in forms more fitting to the user. The question is how to combine the two "home page" branding and "tagging" user-made so that it is easy to jump from one to the other. Seth's blog post dealt with the challenge "componentization" will have for marketers. The term "componentization" can obviously be expanded beyond Seth's use of the term applying not only to software but to hardware, business practices and people. I am of the opinion that it could also limit our ability for new discovery and greatly limit our potential for personal and communal paradigm shifts if we limit ourselves to only those components that fit comfortably in our already pre-set paradigms.

Starbuck Wisdom

Seth Godin has a rather simple post on the following great story. This sounds like a personal paradigm shift to me. I am not able to judge how well Starbucks instills this set of paradigms into its employees. Behind the story are the perspectives of Branding Guru John Moore who has some rather interesting insights from his time at Starbucks.

This site's scope does try to reach the philosophical even spiritual wisdom but the practical lessons of effective business practices are still to be learned and respected. Especially when implementing them results in the very objectives this site seeks to obtain, paradigm shifts that benefit both the individual and the organization.

Change agents by their nature have a message that they need to get out. Both to convince others of the need for change and to have them participate actively in that change. Other interesting bits from John Moore.

Espresso Shots of Business Wisdom

Tribal Knowledge

Changing Plans Changing Life

The following story has many of the elements that I find positive and am striving to encourage in my own life and promote in the world. The story came first from Entrepreneurial Mind, My How Plans Can Change . The link to the original Time Magazine story is here. As Jeff Cornwell says, "As carefully as we plan, the same change that creates the opportunity can lead us in unexpected twists and turns."

In the case of Steve Ells, serendipity played an important role. It was not, however, blind luck. It was inspiration arising from being open to new things. It was being adaptable and working with what was available. It maintained autonomy and its values. It is recognizing the importance of design.

"These simple materials are elevated to something extraordinary through great design and architecture. And it's a design that is sympathetic to the food. The food is simple; the raw ingredients are very identifiable: chicken, steak, tomatoes, avocados, rice and beans."

Buddhist Thought for Mon, 08 Oct 2007

If one believes this to be true then it must completely color any actions one takes in the world. It is not only a self-defining statement it also defines one's relationship with others recognizing their profound stillness and the impact that relationships have upon the world.

Buddhist Thought of the Day on 10/8/07

It is only with total humility, and in absolute stillness of mind that we can know what indeed we are. "The Tenth Man" by Wei Wu Wei...

Free Burma More Prayer and Prediction

A basic premise of this endeavor is the concept of condition, cause and effect. This applies fairly obviously to science and economics and also though perhaps less obviously to design, leadership and defining our own lives. Unfortunately the causes we may espouse or endeavor to support often do not lead us to the outcomes we wish for as we might hope.

This weblog partook in the Internet based Free Burma action. A recent check of the site showed 123 blogs on Free Burma in the last 24 hours. That is a significant drop from recent days. This weblog recognized that this was only a symbolic gesture due to the limited outreach of this site. It seems that in fact 1 to 3 other persons did click on the same banner that they could have seen on 14,702 other sites (out of the millions out there) hopefully adding to any impact which would have been minuscule's on its own but added to the overall effort. Unfortunately all this together was not be able to prevail over the current tragedy. It did show what could be done but unfortunately both for the bad, the ruthlessness of the junta and the good.

This site also made the statement that regardless of what happens for the present because all things are dependent upon cause and conditions the days of the Myanmar junta are numbered. When I made the statement it seemed upon reading it a bit pretentious with so many factors working against the prediction but I left it in more as hope. I wish that cause and conditions were such that it were true as of today or the very near future. I still believe it but now it is a matter of faith or confident hope rather than any pretense at political insight but the realities of the last few days makes any proclamations about the future hollow. I need to keep in mind what somebody said, that these efforts are still worthwhile because we are planting seeds.

It does, however, make me think more about how the Internet is used sometimes far too much as a tool for mass communication, with more emphasis on the mass and far less on the communication. Its full potential in focusing more of its use at the local level have not been as fully explored it seems, especially as a means of educating ourselves.

Fast Funds from the Fat

Professor Tyler Cowen's thoughts have been reflected upon within this site a few times. For the non-economist he is a good mix of technical knowledge and natural narrative. He is "classically liberal" enough to appeal to certain philosophical assumptions of mine and, as a libertarian with a conservative bent, to challenge others. His latest book Discover Your Inner Economist was the inspiration of a Fast Company article Entrepreneurship: Making Money On The Obese.

Here are my thoughts on the article. The link from Fast Company to Marginal Revolution in the article was wrong. The writing was an exercise. What is in truth the third incarnation hopefully has fewer mistakes.

First off its one study and not a particularly extensive one. Second the better question is why does money even small amounts induce people to loose weight while health and social acceptance does not. I doubt its the ability to get a couple extra videos for rent. The answer to the question in the article does anyone dare is obvious - plenty Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers etc. etc. Third the two scenarios are quite different. Professor Cowen's version is negatively re-enforced. Even if it works for a few, the repeat or referred business will drop off fast. The study scenario is positively re-enforced for the participants. The company is the one paying there is no participant contribution. It is the Fast Company version that raises the questionable ethics. Under it, one it has too presume that most don't lose weight so in turn do lose money. It in fact presumes that the study is false and money does not make a significant difference. Finally, because there is now an investment to protect in a group interaction, which was not true of either Professor Cowen's version (no group) or the study version (no investment), there is the potential for sabotage because if others fail I could get more, thereby bringing in the questionable ethics and practical failing of the system. The ethical gray area of making a profit on people's negative self image. I think that's called the fashion industry. Actually the most interesting point raised is by Professor Cowen, an economist who argues, Money isn't always a useful tool in altering human behavior; anyone who's offered financial rewards to their children for doing chores can tell you that the results are mixed. Both costs and benefits it would seem are in the eyes of the beholder.

Unsung Heroes of Web 2.0

As great of a fan TED as I am my the idea of intentional paradigm shift that this weblog puts forward is not focused on the 0.0000151% of the population that gets to attend TED Conferences. A New York Times Technology article focuses on The Unsung Heroes Who Move Products Forward.Besides singing the praises of the unsung the article also discusses process innovation.

"Process innovation, even more than most product innovations, also tends to realize its economic potential through a lengthy process of incremental improvement based on learning by doing and other types of learning," he added. "So 'breakthroughs' in process engineering are, if anything, even rarer than in product innovation."

The question is how process innovation can be applied to other fields such as leadership and management. If non-governmental organizations lose their connection to government and have to depend upon themselves, what is left? Many are already autonomous, but many have not begun or have not fully realized the untapped potential of the so-called new economy.

Enjoying Economics

I have been following the talk on Naomi Klein's new book "The Shock Doctrine" on Marginal Revolution and the New York Times putting my two cents in. I don't want to read the book and as far as continuing to invest two cents into discussing the book, one should get change back. However, there is another discussion/debate/donnybrook going on between the so-called main stream and the so-called heterodex economists which is much more interesting.

Interesting in that it helps me get a better understanding of the methodologies used by economists. It also directly applies to my ongoing study of understanding how economics would fit in with my idea of intentional beneficial paradigm shifts. The larger debate is still between capitalism and socialism it seems but the world gets more interesting when the capitalist side includes Grameen phones with Iqbar Quadir from MIT and CARE refuses federal funds. I find value in both the thoughts of Professor Cowen and the newly discovered Professor Stiglitz and have not resolved any of my internal conflicts within the logic of my own perspective.

I must admit that I find the theoretical discussions very interesting recognizing that naiveté is one of the best sources of enthusiasm, but it is the more practical and closer to the ground work that I really admire. Its like having a theory of gravity which is interesting to read and think about but it is not that same as using that theory to explore our solar system.

Excellence not equality key to happiness

Professor Tyler Cowen of Marginal Revolution wrote a post on Inequality and unhappiness. Being a novice to economics I should be able to get away with stating the seemingly obvious that using the dismal science to determine causality for happiness seems ironic. I am going to disagree slightly with Professor Cowen. It is not a perceived lack of economic opportunity that makes us unhappy but a sense of a lack of mastery over one's own fate. I fully agree that economic inequality is not at the root of unhappiness, not because of economic reasons but because people need to create and find their own purpose even on the assembly line or life becomes empty. The sense that my contribution makes a difference can make me want to contribute to society or it can make me want to compete in the market place. Economic equality makes me a lemming not only in economic terms but political terms as well.

I get the best sense of this key to happiness from Herbie Hancock's interview with Wired Blog Network

WN: I've just been listening to some of your latest tracks, and you're still running strong. So many musicians burn out, or can't keep going, and you've been through so many styles, so many incredible records; what do you attribute that longevity to? What's your secret?

HH: Well I have not shut myself off from learning, and the value and beauty of learning and expanding, exploring. That gets my adrenaline going. But I had the great advantage of working with Miles Davis back in the 60s, who, encouraged his young musicians (I was young then) to explore, to take chances, to go outside the box. And I've never forgotten those lessons. So I'm not dependant on staying in the same place. I like the idea of trying something new. I always try to find a way to challenge myself in some way that I feel is valuable to my development. But I have more to give. It's about giving, not getting. That's the bottom line. My feeling is that as long as you keep the flow of ideas going, which means not stopping them when they strike you in your life. Maybe the flow goes through you too, so that it's like a continuous flow, like a river. Then you continue to have ideas. Once you try and start hoarding them and stuff, then you stand in danger of it getting backed up (laughs).

There's only one you. And anyone else who tried to copy you is only a copy. And a copy is never as good as the original. It's not like digital copying. Human copying is not like digital copying, where you can get an exact duplicate of the original. We're not turned into 0s and 1s.

BizDev for the Non-Biz Too

If the concepts of partnerships, traffic exchanges, joint ventures and co-promotions live in a netherworld for businesses then it is be suspected that it does even more so for change organizations as well. If Non-governmental Organizations (aka change organizations) begin as I predict start take a more forward role in initiating change without the connection to governmental entities then they will need to learn not only the social aspects of working together but the legal and often times regulatory roles as well. More on Bizdev by Seth.

Seth's Blog: Business development. Found under Paradigm Pathways Business & Economic Development

Learning from Businesses

An important part of this concept of intentional paradigm shifts is that there is a great deal change organizations can learn from businesses, more in my opinion than they can learn from local governmental entities. If the following works in business then it should work for others as well.

From The Entrepreneurial Mind
While each company is very different, we encountered some common themes: These small businesses tend to let employees at all levels make key decisions, and they groom their future leaders from within. They offer generous traditional and untraditional benefits (how about a six-week sabbatical?). And they constantly hunt for new ways to improve the employee experience or engage employees.

And many share a sizable slice of their profits with employees, teaching them to read company financial statements so they grasp how their job is connected to the success of the organization.

Another Average Joe

Even though I am one of the "average joes" trying to do new things I have to agree to some extent with the sentiment of the Businesspundit: The Dangers of Re-Use: How MashUps Can Stifle Innovation . The author it turns out works at a deeper level of web 2.0 than most of the average joes out there. Re-use though often creates errors in the most mundane of tasks. That is why I believe the exposure to other disciplines such as design will help round out one's approach to a medium which is becoming more important in creating benefit in the world.

Placed under Paradigm Pathways Web 2.0 Pathway

Burma Burning

Originally, it was the picture from space that induced me to put the Burma crisis onto this weblog. Not the technology but the idea of a human event so catastrophic that it was if the planet were crying out. I also grabbed from the two major newspapers from which I generally get my news. It was a quick reaction but further impact seems minimal. This weblog has little impact and to be truthful was not really designed at this point to have much. Despite that I put up a few more connections dealing with the Burma crisis.

Anybody could do this but this is a list of articles from Sphere it!
This article U.N. Envoy Tries to Ease Tensions in Myanmar was printed today in the New York Times. The Los Angeles Times also ran a similar article on Burma . The reporter on the NY Times Story is SETH MYDANS here is a list of other stories by Mr. Mydans . Tricycle is a Buddhist blog/publication. Here is a list of articles and connections dealing with the Burma crisis.

Finally there is Free Burma! International Bloggers' Day for Burma on the 4th of October. For this weblog this is only a symbolic gesture. Perhaps only one other person will see this soon enough to have it make any impact on its own but it will add another number to the overall effort. Perhaps all this together will not be able to prevail over the current situation but it will show what can be done and regardless of what happens for the present because all things are dependent upon cause and conditions the days of the Myanmar junta are numbered.

Getting Bleak about the Dismal Science

The New York Times ran a book review on Disaster Capital aptly titled Bleakonomics By JOSEPH E. STIGLITZ on September 30, 2007. Professor Stiglitz seems to be more explicit in his analysis than was Professor Cowen's post Every Claim is Wrong. Professor Stiglitz's comment

"It's not the conspiracies that wreck the world but the series of wrong turns, failed policies, and little and big unfairnesses that add up. Still, those decisions are guided by larger mind-sets. Market fundamentalists never really appreciated the institutions required to make an economy function well, let alone the broader social fabric that civilizations require to prosper and flourish."

This especially rang true for me but since this weblog is designed to go beyond one's individual paradigms here is a connection to the patriarch of market fundamentalists and his ideas Milton Friedman. What is still to be decided is where I actually fall in the economic continuum.

90% Rule

This link is going under Paradigm Pathways Web 2.0 Pathways but the lesson apply to all aspects of bringing about change in the world. The words of George Eliot apply to the resources we find at hand not just the people with whom we work. Even if one get 20% of the people doing 80% of the work supplied with 90% of the resources, it can still results in a massive shift in any field.

Designing for a Better World

Saul Griffith touches upon just about everything this site wishes to support and promote. In a 2006 TED talk he talks about basics of creating design from understanding the science of the universe and how learning from that could bring benefit to the world. He was recently awarded the MacArthur Genius Award for 2007 according to the TED Blog. What he does for me is demonstrates that design is not a matter of "skin deep" veneer but comes from deep understanding and commitment. Here are some other MacAurthur Genius award winners from TED.

In my own evolution of thought I am becoming to believe in the ability to intentionally design one's life to fit one's values. That may seem obvious to some but to actually integrate that into one's life and have it make a difference in the world still seems a challenge. With this in mind I am designing my own "meaning" of the word paradigm.

"Elements making up the defined "meanings of" things or events in the world that can be redefined by one so as to giving "meaning to" something or "meaning for" someone. By intentionally using these elements, one reshapes a small part of this world and perhaps in doing so becomes part of a larger paradigm shift in the world and in turn again within themselves."

I hope Erin Mckean would approve.

Keeping Current Keeping Sane

Mark Hurst whose blog Good Experiences has been a resource in the creation of this endeavor wrote a book Bit Literacy: Productivity in the Age of Information and E-mail Overload which is reviewed at Head Butler Books. I need that book or I need to go back to a dial up modem. I do try to keep my inboxes empty for both my dayjob/realworld persona and online persona but then they pile up in day job to do, to read articles on work or on science, economics and other topics of interests.

One hypothesis to be put to the test is that it is a matter of it is just letting go. Keeping in mind that one of the original concepts of this endeavor was to create a repository for articles on topics I found interesting so that I could get to them when I had time. With Gmail, I can star items to get back to later on.

How to Make Enduring Organizational and Life Changes

A new addition to Paradigm Pathways Business and Economic Development is
Be Excellent™: How to Make Organizational Change Enduring which rightly cites people as the basic avenue of change not institutions. This applies not only to businesses but all political and social change. For some, the idea of paradigm shift may apply only to unseen social forces to be realized only after they happen and are beyond the individual. My perspective is akin to the concept of Indra's Net.

Paradigm Shifts: Knowing When It Is Time to Grow: Gut Instinct or Planning?

Businesses by their nature go through intentional paradigm shifts just to survive and flourish. One could argue that this is beyond the typical definition of paradigm shift but the decision of some one to expand their ideas into the market place has produced more than one important social paradigm shift in our world. It is because one depends so often upon unknown discoveries but one has to be planning to be the most receptive to them. This will be placed under Paradigm Pathways Economic and Social Pathways.

via Small Business Trends | small business experts by Anita Campbell on 9/26/07
Business expansion: gut instinct or planning? Business owners always want to know, "when is the right time to expand?"

I wish there were a magic answer. If there is one, I don't know anyone who's found it yet. Most business owners tell me they rely on gut instinct to one degree or another. Gut instinct is that inner voice that tells you that it "feels right" to add another location,hire more employees or take on more debt.

I'm a big believer in trusting your instincts. But just like the famous Thomas Jefferson saying
"the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have," a similar idea goes for gut instincts. The more information you are armed with and the more planning you do, the better your gut instincts. That's why a financial person should be an indispensable member of your team, as I pointed out in "Expansion Plans" by Lena Basha in My Business magazine :

' ... one of the most important people on your growth team should be an accountant or financial adviser. "They can really help you understand your business from the inside out, which is necessary when projecting future cash flow that will help pay for the expansion expenses" .... '

Technorati Tags: ,

Benefical Paradigm Shifts Arise from Ethical Actions Arise from Moral Principles

Putting Principles into Action via The Entrepreneurial Mind by Jeff Cornwall on 9/24/07

This weblog seeks paradigm shifts in how one relates to the world in a more positive fashion. It focuses on the personal and community level recognizing that one of the most important avenues is though ethical business practices. This post from Jeff Cornwall of Belmont University provides some timeless principals and is placed under Innovation, Insights, and Integrity a new incarnation of a shared reader containing a number of different articles dealing with these concepts.

To quote Jeff Cornwall's Blog his column this week in the Tennessean encourages entrepreneurs to translate their ethics and values into concrete actions in their businesses.

While business ethics is getting much more attention in the press, in the boardroom and in the classroom, I am concerned that our definition of business ethics is sliding into a legalistic world of rules compliance.

Whether it's in everyday life or in the business world, we have to be careful not to boil morality down to a simple list of don''s that serves as a checklist of how to be ethical.

Business ethics should so much more than a list of rules to follow. It should be a much broader set of standards of how we treat one another..

First Impression: Service

Design takes more and more of an importance in the views of this weblog on bringing about change through shifts in paradigms. This article relates design to customer service which should mean communication for mutual benefit.

September 24, 2007

"The simplest definition of design is how you treat your customer."

Yves Behar, founder, fuseproject

Read the article | First Impression archive

Publish Post